What is USB Type-C and why is it awesome?
There has been lots of talk lately about USB-C or USB Type-C, but what exactly is it, and why is it better than the other formats more commonly in use today, such as micro USB, that it hopes to replace?
USB-C is the newest iteration of USB technology, set to become commonplace as early as 2015. USB-C can be used for many different purposes, from charging mobile phones and transferring data, to transmitting video files onto TV screens. Because the format is so versatile, USB-C cables are expected to replace many of the cables that are widely used today, such as HDMI, VGA, Display, USB, micro USB, and power cables. In fact, the super multifaceted functionality of USB-C has led to the decision by Apple to equip its latest MacBook with only two ports: a headphone jack for music, and a USB-C port for everything else.
There are many benefits to USB-C. To start with, it is reversible, meaning that, like Apple’s Lightning cables, no matter which way you plug in a USB-C cable it will work, which makes plugging in a phone to charge slightly more convenient. USB-C also has higher data transfer rates, which makes syncing faster, and it can charge phones more quickly than micro USB can, so that your phone with USB-C will not need to spend as much time connected to a wire as a phone with micro USB does to achieve the same results. It is also possible to transmit audio via USB-C, so it is likely that one day headphones will be plugged into a USB-C port rather than a standard headphone jack. This means, you can expect that USB-C will one day make headphone jacks redundant, and not something that phones in the future will be equipped with, meaning that USB-C will ultimately lead to smaller mobile phones, that connect exclusively through a USB-C port. The role USB-C plays in making devices smaller can already be seen in Apple’s latest laptop. The new MacBook is thinner than both the MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air, because its USB-C port enables it to rid itself of the other ports that make the other Apple laptops more bulky. It would also be well to consider that, rather than having several different cables each serving a different purpose, USB-C will be a cheaper way of connecting devices, as users will require only one cable that will work with most devices, and be suitable for most purposes.
While USB-C hasn’t become too mainstream as of yet, many people have taken note of its release, and its potential, and the multi purpose possibilities make it something that will almost certainly become more popular than any other cable we use right now, partly because of the convenience of only needing one type of cable for everything, but also because of the money that can be saved by taking such an approach. USB-C will be especially appreciated as an upgrade over the current micro USB cable that used to charge and sync mobile phones, partly because it is more efficient, but also because it is reversible, and will work no matter which way it is inserted.